Cow Crossing - Boulder - 9/18/2006
 

It was freezing this morning.  Remember how I said last night was in the 30s?  It's equally as cold this morning.  Okay, maybe it was in the 40s or 50s when we left, but it was pretty cold.  We had breakfast at this cute restaurant/diner.  It was the restaurant of a bed and breakfast/cottages type of overnight stay place.  The food (although still pancakes, eggs, etc.) was nicer than other typical diners.  I remember being very, very cold when we arrived for breakfast.  I forget what kind of errands Dave had to do (I think lots of phone calls) after breakfast but we split up for a little.  So I just walked around the little town.  We finally met at the general store where we met other cross country cyclists.  After (Dave) talking to them for longer than I'd like, I finally hinted to Dave that we needed to go.

Onward.  Today's scenery changed from the red rock formations to green mountains with trees.  It's amazing how the terrain changes from one to another so fast and close to each other.

The route we were on is known as Scenic Byway 12.  Plagiarized straight from their website (worth clicking on the link I just gave you):  Utah’s Scenic Byway 12 has been designated a National Scenic Byway and an All-American Road by the Federal Highway Administration. All-American Roads have one-of-a-kind features so exceptional that they qualify as a destination “unto themselves.” Only a few byways achieve the status of an All-American Road, making Scenic Byway 12 one of the most unique roads in the United States.

We entered Dixie National Forrest.  Weird how out of nowhere, there's all these trees.

We pretty much climbed all day today.  At one point, I had to stop for something.  I could not start on a hill to save my life.  I didn't really want turn my bike around to go downhill in order to make a u-turn to go back uphill.  I mean, I don't want to re-climb anything that I've already climbed!  It was terrible.  As hard as I tried, I could not start on the uphill.  I tried my best as going diagonal to the road, but since the road was so hilly and curvy, I didn't really want to be on the other side of the road for long in fear of a car coming.  Anyhow, I had to resort to walking my bike up the hill for a tiny bit until there was a break in the road and I could start up again.

Here I am taking a snack break from climbing.

On top (and this isn't even the summit yet), here's a view of where we came from.  See how down there is the red rock formations?

I look cold.

Look at my machine.  That's a lot of crap to carry up hills!

After our teaser summit, we had a nice downhill.  But knowing this isn't the summit yet, going downhill only means we have to gain the elevation again to get to our real summit.  So after the nice downhill, we had yet another uphill.  And would you believe it?  Another truck downhill followed up more uphill.

Lots of aspens today.  These trees are so pretty (and tall!).  I can definitely tell I'm getting close to California with this change in terrain/vegetation.

Finally at the summit of Boulder Mountain.  We climbed over 4000 feet today, and we only did 44 miles.

Why be normal.

More beautiful aspens.

On our final truck 8% downhill for 5 miles, we also encountered a cow crossing sign.  Oh my God, they are not kidding!  I actually had to stop dead in my fast downhill tracks for cows to cross.  Was crazy.

In town, we stopped at the first motel.  Price is okay, but they weren't giving it away; so we went down the street looking for a better deal.  Turns out it was the best deal.  Down the street was a really nice ho/motel/cottage/b&b type of places.  So we came back to the first place.  Unfortunate for us, the double room was taken in that little time we were away.  So, we gladfully took the last single room.  The room was really nice.  Fancy bed and sheets and fancy furniture - not your typical motel furniture.  And, the bathroom was huge!  You could hear an echo in there.

Outside in the parking lot, there was a group of women cyclists on a group tour.  Lucky them they're just on regular road bikes with a van carrying all their gear.  That's okay; doing this trip fully loaded is 1/2 the fun.  And, they get all the lodging and meals planned out for them.  Again, doing this trip on our own and figuring this stuff out at the end of the day again is 1/2 the fun.  I mean, how many families have we stayed with?  Staying with a family is much more memorable than a roadside motel.